My friend Michael Paquin is a fellow of HIMSS, the Health Information Management Systems Society, and an expert in EMR connectivity, Meaningful Use, and the pitfalls of both. Michael shares his thoughts on both in this short video, which is also in transcript form below.
Michael Paquin: I think if we are looking at physicians today and trying to address some of the problems they’re having in their offices and what they’re afraid of in purchasing an Electronic Medical Record, I think we have to start from the beginning and that is service and implementation.
I want to empower all physicians to make vendors give them the service they need. Getting an EMR is just one part of the puzzle in being successful in achieving your Meaningful Use dollar.
The Meaning Use dollars over a five-year period can add up to about $48,000 to $64,000 depending if you’re applying for Medicare or Medicaid. What you really need to think about is that purchase price and negotiate it well, don’t overspend but do overspend if you will, I know that’s contradictory, but do overspend when it comes to implementation and training.
A lot of doctors purchase an Electronic Medical Record and think they can have the training done in 3 days. I’d like you to think about that for just a moment.
If each and every one of you just bought Microsoft Office and brought it into your practice for the first year or first training, could you get trained on PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, Excel all the different features of Microsoft Office in three days while you’re not seeing patients or you are seeing patients? Can you train all 3-4 nurses in your office? What does that mean?
So what I’m suggesting to you is take the time to get trained so that you can use the product correctly. What I’m seeing out in the marketplace is doctors starting to go with their second or third vendor for their Electronic Medical Record software because they have an unsuccessful first brush with Vendor A or Vendor B – they weren’t trained.
All these systems have workflow issues, all of them are trying to address them, and all of them are trying to get better. None of them are going to be perfect but what’s going to make a perfect EMR installation for you is the training.
Make sure you negotiate all the prices.
Make sure you buy from a vendor that is certified by the ONC.
Make sure you’ve got that certification.
Certification means when you get your Meaningful Use dollars you can show your product was certified. So there is a lot to getting ready for purchasing an EMR, there is a lot to choosing the right vendor.
Make sure that you get in touch with an EMR consultant, there are a lot of lessons learned that will pay for a consultant’s time. Anyway in this first video I think we’ve covered enough but feel free to contact me with any questions.
Joe Hage: So I’ll paraphrase. When you’re choosing an EMR partner make sure that it is going to be around and one that can provide you with the level of training you need.
Michael Paquin: And certified.
Joe Hage: And certified, Michael thank you very much.